NEWCASTLE NSW Pelagic Trip Report 23 March 2002

Subject: NEWCASTLE NSW Pelagic Trip Report 23 March 2002
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 18:14:37 -0800 (PST)

NEWCASTLE, NSW. Pelagic Trip Report 23 March 2002

Conditions: Departed 7.15am from Swansea weigh bridge. Returned 3.45pm.

Sea Conditions: 1-1.5m swell early in day, easing slightly later in the day.

Weather: Fine and sunny all day.

Wind: 15knots

Maximum distance from shore. 60km.

Those on board: Alan Stuart, Ann Lindsay, Graeme O?Conner, Mike Newman,

David Geering, Nick Livanos, Alan Morris, Allan Benson, Robert Quinan,

Craig Arms, David Brown, Phil Hansbro and Richard Baxter.

A good March pelagic with a couple of good birds seen. We departed Swansea at 7.15am

and we were immeadiately confronted with a 1.5m swell coming in from the east.. We slowed

our outward speed and crashed our way out to the 60km mark. The last 8 Newcastle pelagic trips

have been in relatively flat conditions and this mornings trip out certainly ended our good run.

Not long after leaving Swansea we saw our first of many Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.

These and a few Australasian Gannet were the only birds we saw in the first hour. Our journey

east was interupted about 30km offshore by a pale coloured shearwater seen well off in the

distance. The bird was only briefly seen by two on board and not positively identified as a Streaked

Shearwater. We continued out and as we crossed the shelf we were joined by our first Great-winged

Petrel and shortly after a Pomerine Jaeger joined the many Wedge-tailed Shearwaters at the back

of the boat.

We continued east and eventually stopped 60km offshore at our primary chumming

location. It wasn?t long before our first Hutton?s Shearwater appeared, followed not long after

by Providence Petrel and 20+ Flesh-footed Shearwater. Included in these was a very grey

Providence Petrel which required further examination. Initially there were 6 Wilson?s Storm

Petrel around the boat, but after 1.5hrs at this location the number grew to 50-80 birds.

When looking down the slick it was carpeted in Wilson?s Storm Petrels dancing along the top

of the water and apart from the Wedge-tailed S/W, the Wilson?s Storm Petrel was the second

most abundant bird of the day.

A further 30minutes at this location yielded our first Long-tailed Jaeger of the day, which

was a new bird for many on board as well as a new bird for the Hunter Region. A further 2-3

Long-tailed Jaeger appeared as well as a solitary White-faced Storm Petrel. It was just before we

were about to leave that the best bird of the day appeared in the form of a GREY TERNLET. It flew

near the boat on two occasions, coming within 50m and allowing all on board good views before

we had to head for home. Our journey home was far more pleasant with the seas at our back.

Birds, (Unfortunately I was chumming all day, so the numbers below are only approx).

  1. Great-winged Petrel 3-5
  1. Providence Petrel 3-5
  1. Wilson?s Storm Petrel 50-80

065 White-faced Storm Petrel 1

  1. Hutton?s Shearweater 2
  1. Flesh-footed Shearwater 30+
  1. Wedge-tailed Shearwater 100+
  1. Crested Tern 2
  1. Pomerine Jaeger 10
  1. Long-tailed Jaeger 2-3
  1. Australasian Gannet 8

Mammals ? 1 pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphin at 60km.

Other Critters ? Several Dolphin fish seen.

    • Several Flying fish seen.

Newcastle Pelagic Trips are run by Richard Baxter and the Hunter Bird Observers Club

and are non-profit outings for all those who which to join us.

Future dates are 20.7.02, 14.9.02, 12.10.02, 13.10.02, 16.11.02.

Richard Baxter


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